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Why War? (August 1939, reprinted September 1939)

Author: Nigel B. Cook
Keywords: Cyril Joad; Oxford Union; World War II; Sir Normal Angell; appeasement; Winston Churchill; Why War?; 1939; Ronald Reagan; evil empire speech; moral relativism; Allan Bloom; The Closing of the American Mind
Year: 1939
Collection: opensource


Cyril Joad's 1939 "Why War" propaganda book. Joad led the infamous 1933 Oxford Union argument for the motion "This country will not fight for King and Country", which sent dictators everywhere the message that Britain was turning pacifist and weak.

Joad simply "ridiculed" all of Winston Churchill's sincere warnings about Hitler's racist Nazis as being exaggerations, and claimed that we could peacefully defeat the Nazis for surrendering and then using non-violent resistance (such people were simply deported to concentration camps or extermination camps by the Nazis, an inconvenient fact which Joad ignores).

On page 71, Joad uses sophistry to defame Winston Churchill's demand to stop the Nazis, by writing about an undergraduate meeting at Oxford before World War I, when Cabinet Minister Winston Churchill said: "There is just one way in which you can make your country secure and have peace, and that is to be so much stronger than any prospective enemy that he dare not attack you, and this is, I submit to you, gentlemen, a self-evident proposition."

Joad comments: "A small man [Sir Normal Angell] got up at the back of the hall and asked him whether the advice he had just given was the advice he would give to Germany. A faint titter ran through the meeting ..."

This kind of "ridicule" of Winston Churchill in Joad's 1939 book is based on the assumption that Germany and Britain were both seeking "security and peace", when in fact Germany since 1912 had been looking for any excuse to start a war. Joad's pacifist delusion of moral relativist - i.e. of assuming both sides to be equally at fault - was blown away by President Ronald Reagan in his 8 March 1983 speech:

"... I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong ..."

Allan Bloom writes on pages 25-26 of "The Closing of the American Mind" (1987):

"There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. ... Some are religious, some atheists; some are to the Left, some to the Right; some intend to be scientists, some humanists or professionals or businessmen; some are poor, some rich. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. And the two are related in a moral intention. The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it. They have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society. That it is a moral issue for students is revealed by the character of their response when challenged - a combination of disbelief and indignation ... The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating. ... The study of history and of culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past; men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism, and chauvinism. The point is not to correct the mistakes and really be right; rather it is not to think ... The students ... point out all the opinions and cultures ... What right, they ask, do I or anyone else have to say one is better than the others? If I pose the routine questions designed to confute them and make them think, such as, 'If you had been a British administrator in India, would you have let the natives under your governance burn the widow at the funeral of a man who had died?,' they either remain silent or reply that the British should never have been there in the first place. ... Every educational system has a moral goal that it tries to attain and that informs its curriculum. It wants to produce a certain kind of human being. ... Always important is the political regime, which needs citizens who are in accord with its fundamental principle."

Moral relativism was created by the agnostic Greek philosopher Protagoras (490-420 BC), whose anti-objective, subjective or "relativistic" doctrine was that:

"Man is the measure of all things, of the reality of those which are, and the unreality of those which are not."

Plato's book Theaetetus attacked Protagoras's relativism by pointing out that human beliefs by themselves do not control reality: you cannot fly by wishful thinking alone, so the natural world is not controlled directly by the human brain. If you wish to fly, for example, you need to do more than think. You need to build aircraft. In 2005 Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope) declared during the Homily at the Mass for the election of the Roman Pontiff:

"We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognise anything for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires."

Stephen Law's Humanism on page 11 quotes the Chief Executive of the UK's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Nick Tate, stating on 15 January 1996:

"If ever a dragon needed slaying, it is the dragon of relativism."

“Fallible as we may be in our upbringing of children, we now cherish and defend their freedom to develop their own minds. It seems unnatural to us that these growing minds, in which the future of the human race lies, should be subjected to gross manipulation at the hands of propagandists. People who are inclined to say that we could be just as well off under the ****s should pause to reflect … For if you want children’s minds to develop, you must not poison them with important illusions. You must let their minds be free to observe and judge.”

- Dr Edward Glover, The Psychology of Fear and Courage, Penguin, 1940, pp. 125-6.

“A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind …”

- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859.

“The very magnitude of the power over men’s minds that a highly centralised and government-dominated system of education places in the hands of the authorities ought to make one hesitant before accepting it too readily.”

- Professor F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1960, p. 379.

“The student … is accustomed to being told what he should believe, and to the arbitration of authority. … Ultimately, self-confidence requires a rational foundation. … we should face our tasks with confidence based upon a dispassionate appreciation of attested merits. It is something gained if we at least escape the domination of inhibiting ideas.”

- Professor Cecil Alec Mace, The Psychology of Study, 1963, p90.

“Children lose interest … because a natural interest in the world around them has been replaced by an unnatural acceptance of the soundness of certain views, the correctness of particular opinions and the validity of specific claims.”

- David Lewis, You can teach your child intelligence, Book Club Associates, London, 1982, p. 258.

“Scepticism is … directed against the view of the opposition and against minor ramifications of one’s own basic ideas, never against the basic ideas themselves. Attacking the basic ideas evokes taboo reactions … scientists only rarely solve their problems, they make lots of mistakes … one collects ‘facts’ and prejudices, one discusses the matter, and one finally votes. But while a democracy makes some effort to explain the process so that everyone can understand it, scientists either conceal it, or bend it … No scientist will admit that voting plays a role in his subject. Facts, logic, and methodology alone decide – this is what the fairy-tale tells us. … This is how scientists have deceived themselves and everyone else … It is the vote of everyone concerned that decides fundamental issues … and not the authority of big-shots hiding behind a non-existing methodology. … Science itself uses the method of ballot, discussion, vote, though without a clear grasp of its mechanism, and in a heavily biased way.”

– Professor Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, 1975, final chapter.

“There are two distinct meanings to the word ‘science’. The first meaning is what physicists and mathematicians do. The second meaning is a magical art … What is of harm is the blind faith in an imposed system that is implied. ‘Science says’ has replaced ‘scripture tells us’ but with no more critical reflection on the one than on the other. … reason is no more understandable this year than prayer a thousand years ago. Little Billy may become a scientist as earlier he might have turned priest, and know the sacred texts … The chromed apparatus is blessed by distant authority, the water thrice-filtered for purity, and he wears the white antiseptic gown … But the masses still move by faith. … I have fear of what science says, not the science that is hard-won knowledge but that other science, the faith imposed on people by a self-elected administering priesthood. … In the hands of an unscrupulous and power-grasping priesthood, this efficient tool, just as earlier … has become an instrument of bondage. … A metaphysics that ushered in the Dark Ages is again flourishing. … Natural sciences turned from description to a ruminative scholarship concerned with authority. … On the superstition that reduction to number is the same as abstraction, it permits any arbitrary assemblage of data to be mined for relations that can then be named and reified in the same way as Fritz Mauthner once imagined that myths arise. … Our sales representatives, trained in your tribal taboos, will call on you shortly. You have no choice but to buy. For this is the new rationalism, the new messiah, the new Church, and the new Dark Ages come upon us.”

- Jerome Y. Lettvin, The Second Dark Ages, paper given at the UNESCO Symposium on “Culture and Science”, Paris, 6-10 September 1971 (in Robin Clarke, Notes for the Future, Thames and Hudson, London, 1975, pp. 141-50).

“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunder-standing the simplest arguments … and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”

- George Orwell, 1984

Educational psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg (Lawrence Kohlberg, “Stage and Sequence: the Cognitive Development Approach to Socialization,” in D. A. Goslin, Ed., Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research, Rand-McNally, Co., Chicago, 1969, pp. 347-380) has found that peoples go through six stages of ethical development:

(1) Conformity to rules and obediance to authority, to avoid punishment.

(2) Conformity to gain rewards.

(3) Conformity to avoid rejection.

(4) Conformity to avoid censure. (Chimps and baboons.)

(5) Arbitrariness in enforcing rules, for the common good.

(6) Conscious revision and replacement of unhelpful rules.

“… it is once for all clear from the very appearances that the earth is in the middle of the world and all weights move towards it. … Now some people, although they have nothing to oppose to these arguments, agree on something, as they think, more plausible. … the earth as turning on the same axis from west to east very nearly one revolution a day … never would a cloud be seen to move toward the east nor anything else that flew or was thrown into the air. For the earth would always outstrip them in its eastward motion, so that all other bodies would seem to be left behind and to move towards the west.”

– Claudius Ptolemy (100-178 AD), Almagest, Book I, part 7, That the Earth does not in any way move locally. Translated by R. C. Taliaferro, Great Books of the Western World, volume 16, 1952, pp. 11-12.

(This proves that Aristarchus’s solar system was not simply ignored, but was falsely attacked by the mainstream using false, deluded “arguments” which were speculative and built on a basis of fluff or quicksand. Note also that when Bruno was burned at the stake in February 1600 for saying that the earth rotates, he had evidence for the solar system in that the planets Venus and Mars are always observed to be in the same hemisphere as the sun when seen from Earth: neither planet was ever seen in the opposite direction to the sun. This, Bruno argued, is because they orbit the Sun, not the Earth, and are orbiting closer to the sun than the earth. This is the reason Bruno was burned. If he was simply talking without evidence, he would have been ignored, which is the first line of defense of status quo against radical progress. The second line of defense is to ridicule progressives. The third is to burn them. Many politically biased “historians” and “scientists” incorrectly claim that the problem was simply a lack of evidence for the solar system proposed in 250 BC by Aristarchus of Samos. Not so. It was bias. Note in particular that Copernicus failed to get rid of epicycles; he simply applied epicycles to Aristarchus’s solar syetem. It was Kepler in 1609 who began making progress in removing epicycles by replacing them with elliptical orbits which better fitted the motion of the planet Mars as observed carefully by Brahe.)

“Ptolemy and the Peripatetics think that nature must be thrown into confusion, and the whole structure and configuration of our globe destroyed by the Earth’s so rapid rotation … what structure of iron can be imagined so strong, so tough, that it would not be wrecked and shattered to pieces by such a mad and unimaginable velocity? …all atmosphere … rotate with the globe: the space above … is a vacuum; in passing through vacuum even the lightest bodies and those of least coherence are neither hindered nor broken up. Hence the entire terrestrial globe, with all its appurtenances, revolves placidly and meets no resistance.”

– Dr William Gilbert (1540-1603), On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies and on the Great Magnet the Earth, 1600, book 6, chapter 3. (Translation: P. Fleury Mottelay, John Wiley and Sons.)

(This shows how the vacuous arguments attacking a new theory were dismissed. However, the bigoted would simply ignore or dismiss Gilbert’s refutation as being – ironically – “speculative”. This is still the political method used in “science” to censor out alternative ideas from being carefully studied, checked, and discussed. The key problem for status quo is maintaining hegemony, even hubris. It is not the number one priority of status quo to permit radical discussions of the foundations of mainstream theories.)

“It is indeed a most absurd fiction to explain natural phenomena by false causes.”

- J. Kepler, quoted by G. Abetti, History of Astronomy, London, 1974, p. 74.

See also: The effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (the secret U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report 92, Pacific Theatre) located at: http://archive.org/details/TheEffectsOfTheAtomicBombOnHiroshima

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